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Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks 
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Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
My top 5 movie soundtracks:

1) Return of the Jedi - John Willams' best work, IMO.
2) LOTR: The Two Towers - Best music by Howard Shore on all 3 films for me.
3) Last of the Mohicans - Excellent at evoking thoughts of the colonists in New France and New England.
4) Pulp Fiction - One thing Tarantino's always been good at is picking out obscure songs from earlier decades for use in his films.
5) Collateral - Good mix of songs from different genres of music to highlight each major scene in the film.


Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:28 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
Impressive thread resurrection.

In no particular order, limited to original scores and one film per composer:

Taxi Driver, by Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann is the ultimate film composer. And while his score for Psycho may be more iconic, and his Citizen Kane score perhaps more important, this one is by far his most evocative. Herrmann is just as in touch with Travis Bickle's inner life as Schrader, De Niro, and Scorsese. The music is Travis's New York, is the girls Travis obsesses over, is the people he simultaneously distrusts and struggles to connect with. It is also Travis. If it's all the things that are important to him, all the things that define his identity, how could it not be him?

The Empire Strikes Back, by John Williams

Oy vey. How do you pick a single John Williams score? Answer: very grudgingly. In fact, if this thread were about specific film music compositions, I would pick Superman in a heartbeat. The Williams Superman music has become just as much a part of the character as the chest emblem or the dual identities.

But alas, the thread title specifies movie soundtracks, implying that we're judging them pound for pound, second for second. Drawing the line there, I will admit that The Empire Strikes Back is stronger. It has enormous range and resonance. It captures what's happening in the movie perfectly at any given moment. It is, needless to say, the best of all the Star Wars scores at the very least.

Kung Fu Hustle, by Raymond Wong

An almost criminally unknown score from a criminally underappreciated film. Wong's achievement is in blending the classical Hollywood movie score with traditional Chinese compositional style and instruments. The result is a texture not quite like any I've heard before.

I'm a big fan of film composers who experiment in blending different traditions, which is a useful strategy when attempting to match specific narrative material. Peter Gabriel does it on The Last Temptation of Christ. Don Davis does it on The Matrix. Wendy Carlos does it on A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. Wong's work on Kung Fu Hustle is a particularly glowing example of this sort of cultural intermingling.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, by Philip Glass

A Philip Glass composition is hard to pin down, but you can expect a few basic features--circular patterns, hard edges, meticulous structure. Glass is the perfect choice for this Swiss watch of a film.

He's far from an obvious choice, though. Mishima is both an ethnic piece and a period piece, and 999999 times out of a million, a musical director would unthinkingly cobble together a collection of ethnic music and the popular songs of the day in order to generate texture-on-demand. It is tremendously thrilling that Mishima, as with every other aspect of its being, chose the musical path less taken.

The Third Man, by Anton Karas

You know it immediately when you hear it, and there's nothing else quite like it. What else can you say about a score that may just be the most unique thing about a movie as good as The Third Man?


Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:46 am
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
Ok, can we please make a differentiation between a soundtrack and score? Soundtracks use mostly pre-recorded songs used appropriately to fit or set the mood for a specific part of a film...

For me, the top movie soundtracks that come to mind--

Almost Famous - Absolutely briliiant. Never has Tiny dancer sounded to good, or carried so much emotion.
Goodfellas - Scorcese knows music and which songs to use to fit the mood.
High Fidelity - Already mentioned in the thread
The Departed - just great, again Scorcese
A Hard Day's Night - OK, so it could be called an extended Beatle's movie video, but still...
The Graduate - S&G, c'mon.
Stop Making Sense - Ok, This could be put with Hard Day's night as an extended video or concert video, but it is a great film in it's own right and deserves a mention.
This is Spinal Tap - Big Bottom, nothing more needs to be said.
The Big Chill - Aretha, The Stones, Procul Harum, The Rascals, Beach Boys, The Band... just awesome.
The Blues Brothers - C'mon everybody, let me see you shake your tail feather!
The Commitments - What a great film, and it's all about the music!

Ok, I could go on, but that's enough.

Now, the best movie scores (original music written specifically for the film) that come to mind...

Blade Runner - Already mentioned, definitely worth mentioning again. Just great.
The Mission - don't think I saw this one listed before, but what a great score.
Seven Years in Tibet - Ok movie, GREAT soundtrack.
The Sting - Joplin is perfect, I guess this could go in the soundtrack category, but I'm biased towards songs with lyrics.
Jaws - don'T think this has been mentioned yet either, perfect. Dum dum... dum dum... dumdumdumdumdumdum...!!!
The Godfather - Already deservedly mentioned
Star Wars - just great
Lord of the Rings - maybe I'm spoiled by seeing the films with the score performed live by the Munich Philharmonic, but that was a film experience I will never forget!
Once Upon a Time in the West - If you haven't seen it, see it.
Passion of the Christ - Also deservedly mentioned. Peter Gabriel at his best. I listen to this all the time.

Ok, that's enough. I could go on, and there are many, many more films worthy of mention in both the soundtrack and score categories, but I've already gone past the arbitrary five limit set by the OP. I hope you don't mind... ;)


Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:23 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
"Soundtrack" is the vernacular term for the music that accompanies the film, which can be either the score, the included preexisting music, or both. Score would be a specific kind of soundtrack.

If you want to get REALLY technical, "soundtrack" can also refer to the complete audio track, including dubbing and foley, but this is understandably a lesser-used definition.


Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:39 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
I somehow missed this topic. I'm taking the term "soundtrack" to mean "use of music, including scores and songs and such".

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox. A newer entry, but no one should complain. Desplat's delightful score and Anderson's choice of Beach Boys, Burl Ives, and The Bobby Fuller Four set an unmistakable mood that supported the movie in every way. This and Slumdog Millionaire are the best of the decade.
4. U2 3D. Well, other people were cheating with concert films. Here's another.
3. Dazed and Confused. *wink*
2. This is Spinal Tap. Duh.
1. Pulp Fiction. This is perhaps a controversial choice for the top spot, but Tarantino's magnum opus uses songs is such an interesting way. Misirlou and Jungle Boogie are the perfect hook for a movie of this style, but they're from different genres and time periods. WHEN DOES THIS MOVIE TAKE PLACE? The movie gives no clue. How about that dance contest? That other dance scene? Pulp Fiction is memorable enough with the content it chooses, but its use of music makes it great.


Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:37 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
MunichMan wrote:
Passion of the Christ - Also deservedly mentioned. Peter Gabriel at his best. I listen to this all the time.


Martin Scorsese would weep if he read this. Weep, I tells ya! The Last Temptation of Peter Gabriel? Phil Collins' drumstick. Splinters were where splinters should never be.


Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:45 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
majoraphasia wrote:
MunichMan wrote:
Passion of the Christ - Also deservedly mentioned. Peter Gabriel at his best. I listen to this all the time.


Martin Scorsese would weep if he read this. Weep, I tells ya! The Last Temptation of Peter Gabriel? Phil Collins' drumstick. Splinters were where splinters should never be.

Too bad no one cares about Martin Scorsese.

Wait.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:37 am
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Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
It take me a while to narrow down a Top 5, but Last of the Mohicans has to be my favorite of all-time. It MAKES that ending so special.

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Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:36 am
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Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
majoraphasia wrote:
MunichMan wrote:
Passion of the Christ - Also deservedly mentioned. Peter Gabriel at his best. I listen to this all the time.


Martin Scorsese would weep if he read this. Weep, I tells ya! The Last Temptation of Peter Gabriel? Phil Collins' drumstick. Splinters were where splinters should never be.
It's kind of funny. My first impression of the music in The Passion of the Christ was, "Gee, somebody's seen Last Temptation. And bought the official soundtrack album by Peter Gabriel. And the supplementary collection of inspiration tracks compiled by Peter Gabriel."


Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:16 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
Ken wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
MunichMan wrote:
Passion of the Christ - Also deservedly mentioned. Peter Gabriel at his best. I listen to this all the time.


Martin Scorsese would weep if he read this. Weep, I tells ya! The Last Temptation of Peter Gabriel? Phil Collins' drumstick. Splinters were where splinters should never be.
It's kind of funny. My first impression of the music in The Passion of the Christ was, "Gee, somebody's seen Last Temptation. And bought the official soundtrack album by Peter Gabriel. And the supplementary collection of inspiration tracks compiled by Peter Gabriel."


Is that right? I'll have to take a second look at The Passion of the Christ to see if there's some truth there. This is to say that I believe you. I wouldn't re-visit a movie that I have no real memory of save for strong violence and all the rest. The Last Temptation of Christ, however... ah, très magnifique! With a great score and... all of it, it's just a great movie.

I did like PeachyPete's spoiler for Passion:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Jesus dies.


That would have made a good tagline.


Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:21 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
I weep for myself! Of course, I meant Last Temptation of Christ. My sincere apologies to Mr. Scorcese.

Sheesh, what an idiot. :roll:


Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:34 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
I've recently started on a quest to acquire every James Bond soundtrack available on vinyl. So far, I've got Goldfinger, Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, Live And Let Die, and The Spy Who Loved Me. I really want On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The John Barry ones are all quality.

I've also picked up Burt Bacharach's Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid soundtrack, which is awesome, and the soundtrack for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is also awesome.

For more recent films, the work that Clint Mansell did with Moon is exceptional. It works well both as a soundtrack and an ambient album.

If we're talking collections of songs instead of the score, Cameron Crowe movies are always strong in that regard. Same goes for High Fidelity.

My all-time favorite score is for Raiders Of The Lost Ark.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:25 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
Ken wrote:
I'm a big fan of film composers who experiment in blending different traditions, which is a useful strategy when attempting to match specific narrative material. Peter Gabriel does it on The Last Temptation of Christ. Don Davis does it on The Matrix. Wendy Carlos does it on A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. Wong's work on Kung Fu Hustle is a particularly glowing example of this sort of cultural intermingling.


Agreed. Just that sometimes the intermingling, or use of ethnic music can be overdeone. I think that Hanz Zimmer exaggerated in "Black Hawk Down" with his use of ethinc chant. It sounded more like a "trendy" choice than an appropriate one. A good film score ony draws so much attention to it (the main reason why, sadly, many a great score goes unnoticed).
Wendy Carlos did some brilliant and pioneering work with early (Moog) modular synthesizers, but somehow the "A Clockwork Orange" score sounds a little annoying to me by now - as pioneering as it was back then, the texture that can be achieved by using nothing but analog synthesizers from the late 1960s is a little empty and lacks complexity (there were many other keyboards around at the time that could have made the synths lines a little more interesting and add some depth. I am not saying Wendy Carlos' work was shallow. I'm saying the sounds were. That's a huge difference.
I know that a lot of what I say might be considered blasphemy by some, but that's my opinion. What can I do... I understand: Kubrick usually stayed away from "traditional" and the risk of being cheezy - and embraced what he believed to be highly original and/or unusual. I just don't think his musical choices were always brilliant, I think sometimes he got carried away with an idea - losing sight.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:04 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
1. Princess Mononoke (Joe Hisashi)
2. Fantasia (Various classical composers)
3. Sleepy Hollow (Danny Elfman)
4. Innocence (Kenji Kawai and a woman whose name I forgot :()
5. A Clockwork Orange (Walter Carlos and of course Ludwig Van :P)


Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:34 am
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
Chie1989 wrote:
5. A Clockwork Orange (Walter Carlos and of course Ludwig Van :P)


Show me someone who doesn't love that soundtrack and I'll show you a person born without ears. A small bonus is that Walter Carlos prefers to be called Wendy as Walter underwent sex reassignment in the early 70s (http://www.biographybase.com/biography/ ... alter.html).


Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:00 am
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Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
I'm going to go ahead and say that John Williams is a boss, and that this statement should be sufficient. For all non-Williams works:

There Will Be Blood - Not all original, but one of my favorite compilations/composed work. Jonny Greenwood, brother of Radiohead bass player.

Pleasantville - Randy Newman. Maybe cliche, but I love it anyways.

Patton - Yeah, I went there. Jerry Goldsmith outdid himself here.

Into the Wild - Mostly Eddie Vedder, some of the best original music done for a movie IMO.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Bernstein's score rises to levels unheard of in film scores - hauntingly beautiful.

Atonement - I thought the music here was really creative; the typewriter percussion and the breaking of the musical 4th wall was great, something you don't ever see.

These are just a few that come to mind.


Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:37 am
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Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
darthyoshi wrote:
Jonny Greenwood, brother of Radiohead bass player.



Why does it have to be brother of Radioheaad's bass player. Why can't it be Radiohead's guitarist?


Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:48 am
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Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
Patrick wrote:
darthyoshi wrote:
Jonny Greenwood, brother of Radiohead bass player.



Why does it have to be brother of Radioheaad's bass player. Why can't it be Radiohead's guitarist?


Shit! IMDB lied to me. I knew he had a connection to Radiohead, and I thought he was the guitarist, but when I went to IMDB, the first thing I saw was "brother of Radiohead bass player". It was late, I went with it.


Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:28 pm
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Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
Some of my favorite soundtracks:

Moon - Clint Mansell
Requiem for a Dream - Clint Mansell & the Kronos quartet
The Fountain - Clint Mansell, Kronos quarted & Mogwai
Suspiria - Goblin
Tenebrae - Goblin
Pulp Fiction & Reservoir Dogs


Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:42 pm
Post Re: Your top 5 favorite movie soundtracks
1 - Black Snake Moan
2 - Watchmen
3 - Fight Club - the actual score through out the movie is good, but not great, it's the use of The Pixies Where is My Mind that is the reason I'm including it on this list.
4 - Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I think the music for all of the movies is very good. However, this one had several moments of stark beauty on the soundtrack that caused it to stand out for me above the other two.
5 - Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Runners up:
300
Sin City
Slumdog Millionaire
2001 A Space Odyssey
Spiderman


Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:39 pm
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